Mapping Vulnerability and Adverse Healthcare Events: A Spatial Information Strategy

Authors: Hamish Robertson*, University of Technology Sydney, Nick Nicholas, The Demographer’s Workshop, AUSTRALIA, Gillian Shaw, Quality and Safety Data Systems Lead, Alfred Health, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA, Karen Roberts, Vulnerabilities Project Lead, Alfred Health, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA, Lisa Somerville, Director of Allied Health, Alfred Health, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA, Joanne Travaglia, Professor, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Geography and Urban Health
Keywords: health, patient safety, vulnerability, incidents
Session Type: Paper
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Little is known about the patients who are more vulnerable to risks of harm in healthcare systems and whether patterns of adverse events differ according to patient characteristics. In this paper we describe a pioneering approach to hospital data used to explore if such patterns exist and how these can be analysed to inform intervention and systemic improvements. This work is being undertaken using a spatial modeling approach and is an active case study scenario using data drawn from the Alfred Health network in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia comprising three hospital facilities, two acute and one sub-acute. Methods All inpatient clinical incidents for the year 2017 were extracted and geocoded to latitude and longitude. This produced 6500 distinct patients and 11,000 inpatient clinical incidents. Patient addresses were made confidential at the SA1 geographic level, and ana Maptitude GIS software. Patients affected included international and interstate visitors, the project focuses on those living within the state of Victoria. Results Initial analysis indicates variable catchment areas for each facility and spatially varied patterns of inpatients experiencing adverse events. Patterns identified include adverse events for the whole Alfred Health network and for each individual facility. Additional analysis will focus on within-facility spatial patterns of differential adverse events (e.g. psychiatric versus general surgery). Conclusions This current ongoing case study provides an example of how spatial science and geographic knowledge can inform relatively poorly understood health problems such as adverse events. This is early stage data from a project with national and international significance.

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